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AEW Dynamite Presents: BASH AT THE BEACH
by Samoa Rowe
January 15, 2020
From the Watsco Center in Miami, Florida. The set is covered in beach props, and there's a real life guard blowing a kiss at the camera from her watch tower. Our hosts are Jim Ross, Excalibur, and Tony Shiavone.
Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders Match:
Kenny Omega and Hangman Page vs. Proud N Powerful (Santana and Ortiz) vs. Best Friends (Trent and Chuck Taylor, with Orange Cassidy) vs. The Young Bucks (Nick and Matt Jackson)
Trent overpowers Nick in a shoulder tackle exchange. Nick answers with a corkscrew arm drag. Page enters to a loud "Cowboy Sh!t" chant and hits Taylor with a fallaway slam. Kenny tags in to a huge ovation and his lockup with his buddy, Matt, is interrupted by PnP. Omega hits a backbreaker on Santana and holds him for Nick's flying legdrop. Omega drops Ortiz onto Jackson's knee with a Fame-asser! J.R. is annoyed by the loose tag rules on display. Young Bucks catch Trent with a double dropkick. Matt hits rolling Northern Lights suplexes on Trent until Trent counters with a tornado DDT. Taylor storms the Bucks with a standing moonsault and belly to belly suplex. Best Friends hit Matt with a Sole Food/Back Drop Driver spot (and he lands on his head). PnP catch Matt with a string of tandem offense and wipe out the rest of the field with dives. Cue the "this is awesome" chant. PnP hit Matt with Eddie Guerrero vertical suplexes. Matt saves himself with a spear and catches Santana with a modified stunner. With Nick off the apron, Matt chooses to tag in Omega and NOT Page. Omega cleans house with his greatest hits. Page assists with a running SSP, so Omega improvises with a moonsault onto the field at ringside. This leads to a rapid fire diving sequence, earning a loud "AEW" chant. Match restarts with Omega vs. Trent, but everyone gathers around for the group suplex spot (ref bump along the way). Orange Cassidy assists to help his friends hit the massive suplex. Best Friends hug it out and hit stereo piledrivers on Omega and Page. Best Friends hit Omega with Storm Zero, but the Bucks break the pinfall. Match breaks down again with competitors hitting drive-by attacks. Matt's SUPERKICK PARTY almost takes out his buddy Page. Best Friends block the Meltzer Driver, Page tags himself in at the Bucks' expense. Page and Omega finish Chuck with a Lariat/V-Trigger combo at 16:36! Great spotfest to open the show, though some of the spots were a bit overly telegraphed (more so than usual, before you say anything). This gets a boost for adding some new wrinkles in the ongoing slowburn Page turn, ***¾.
Winners: Kenny Omega and Hangman Page
Cody comes to the ring to respond to MJF's list of stipulations in order to have a match at Revolution. Cody is surprised that MJF wants Wardlow to face him in a cage, because once the AEW fans see what Wardlow is like outside of a suit, they'll wonder why MJF isn't the one carrying his bags. Cody isn't that scared of the 10 lashes stip, seems like a small physical price to pay. As for not being able to touch MJF before Revolution, that's just stalling, because he's been coddled by his mommy and daddy his entire life. MJF thinks he's an old school heel, but he's actually lazy. Cody accepts all the stipulations, even though the fans try to wave off the 10 lashes. Cody vows to give MJF his own GD scar at Revolution. Total money promo by Cody, with some well timed "fake shoot" comments to throw red meat at people who like that sort of thing.
Backstage promo with Joey Janela! He's cross that his fresh start in 2020 was ruined by getting punched in the balls by his ex-girlfriend, Penelope Ford. Janela doesn't want anything to do with her, but since she's using him to get herself over, he's going to have to take it on her hunk, side piece, Kip Sabian. Janela admits that his 2019 win/loss record wasn't what it should be, but next week he gets a chance to turn this around when he faces Rey Fenix.
The Nightmare Collective (Brandi Rhodes and Mel, with Luther) vs. Kris Statlander and Hikaru Shida
Luther blocks Shida from entering the ring, allowing a 2 on 1 ambush by the Collective on Statlander. Shida fights her way to the ring with her trusty kendo stick and starts the match against Mel, hitting a clunky rana. Statlander catches Mel with a moonsault off the apron, which also doesn't quite connect. Shida hits a running knee off a chair on Mel. Double dropkick by Shida and Statlander. Brandi's distraction allows Mel to hit a big boot. Brandi tags and dishes out punchy/kicky offense. The NC has Shida isolated heading into commercial. Back from break, and the crowd is politely chanting "Let's go, Shida." Statlander gets the hot tag and Brandi tries to escape, but Mel is off the apron. Statlander's Falcon Arrow is good but Mel breaks the pinfall. Shida dispatches Mel with a missile dropkick. Brandi hits a sneaky spear on Statlander for 2. Mel's Black Hole Slam gets 2 on Statlander. Shida hits Mel with a SUPERPLEX, and they swarm her with running kicks. Mel blocks a suplex and hits a double clothesline. Statlander catches Mel with a Piledriver for the win at 11:15. This was pretty rough, with lots of botches, and just totally exposing the NC members for not being ready for primetime, *.
Winners: Kris Statlander and Hikaru Shida
Dark Order video package! I like how it seems that AEW is continually putting the Nightmare Collective and Dark Order in back to back segments in the first hour, almost as if to just plug their noses and get it over with. The Dark Order's main recruiter hosts a slide show for the "Exalted One" off camera. They are trying to recruit the jobbiest of jobbers in AEW, including Michael Nakazawa and Brandon Cutler, but also want malcontents like Hangman Page.
Sammy Guevara vs. Jon Moxley
Guevara flirts with the life guard during his entrance, just proving once again that he's a SPANISH GOD! Moxley arrives in the high priced car he stole from the Inner Circle last week. Bell rings and Sammy tries to make a statement by taking the fight right to Moxley, who cuts him off with knife edge chops. Sammy spends too much time strutting after a counter and Moxley nails a clothesline. Reverse Irish whip by Guevara and springboard cutter! Sammy hits a cool dive, but fakes out a top rope move, so Moxley slaps his face. Powerbomb by Moxley gets 2. Guevara blocks a Paradigm Shift on the apron and delivers a flying double stomp to the chest. Sammy looks like a total bad-ass as he sends Moxley into the ring steps. Guevara applies a chinlock just in time for a commercial. They return in time for Moxley to tease a comeback, but Guevara cuts him off with a running SSP. Moxley answers with a DDT for 2. Guevara hits a leaping top rope Spanish Fly and GO 2 SLEEP, but MOXLEY KICKS OUT! Moxley counters a moonsault press into a rear naked choke and Guevara taps out immediately at 9:27! This was kind of formulaic, but provided some surprises down the stretch, ***.
Winner: Jon Moxley
Moxley's celebration is interrupted by Chris Jericho's music. The lights go out, which usually doesn't mean good things in AEW. The lights come back to reveal that Moxley is surrounded by the entire Inner Circle! They swarm Moxley and beat him into the canvas. Hager holds Moxley up in a choke hold for Jericho to whip him with the AEW title. Hager then delivers a running low blow and seems pleased with himself. Guevara hits some slaps to the face for good measure. Jericho removes a metal spike from his jacket and stabs Moxley square between the eyes! Referees finally arrive and break it up. This was a fitting beatdown angle to follow up Moxley rejecting them last week.
Backstage stage interview with the Inner Circle. Jericho says that what just happened is not his fault, Moxley signed his own death warrant when he smashed bubbly over his head. They're going to keep an eye on Moxley, since he only has one left, and he's going to keep kicking the sh!t out of him, as well as the Jurassic Express on the Jericho cruise next week. Guevara lingers behind to flirt with Decker. Spanish. God.
The Butcher and Blade (with the Bunny) and MJF (with Wardlow) vs. QT Marshall, Dustin Rhodes, and Diamond Dallas Page
MJF is wearing a super-classy "I banged DDP's daughters" t-shirt, prompting DDP to start the match. MJF immediately tags out to the Butcher. Marshall tags, so MJF returns. QT holds his own, and MJF doesn't like that one bit. Middle finger by QT, eye rake by MJF. QT hits a quick springboard crossbody on The Blade and tags Dustin, who hits an atomic drop. Wardlow clocks Dustin while wearing MJF's diamond ring, allowing the bad guys to take over the match. Dustin gets beaten down through a commercial break. Dustin blocks MJF's seated senton with his knees for a "legal" low blow. Dustin clotheslines Butcher and Blade off the apron and back drops MJF to ringside, but then collapses. Butcher sneak attacks QT with a backbreaker at ringside. Hot tag to DDP, and the crowd is red hot as he cleans house with clotheslines and punches. Diamond Cutter on Butcher! MJF blocks a Cutter with a blind low blow. Dustin tags himself in and hits the Canadian Destroyer on MJF! Diamond Cutter on MJF! Dustin's cover is broken by the Blade. Dustin takes down the Butcher and Blade with a cannonball off the apron, and QT follows with a back hand spring dive (QT Special!). Page hits a flying crossbody to ringside! HOLY CRAP! In the chaos, MJF rolls up QT for the sudden win at 10:36. This was highly entertaining after the commercial, cool moment for DDP, but MJF steals the match anyway, **¾.
Winners: MJF and The Butcher and Blade
Jen Decker tries to interview SCU when they're interrupted by a drunk Hangman Page. Omega tries to play peacemaker, explaining to SCU that his friend is just a little frisky. Omega wants a clean contest on the cruise, but SCU still want nothing to do with the Hangman.
"The Bastard" Pac vs. Darby Allin
The winner faces Jon Moxley next week to become the #1 contender to Jericho's AEW title. They sprint through a series of counters until Allin hits a springboard dropkick. Pac answers with a tilt a whirl backbreaker. Allin responds with a float over shotgun dropkick. Allin's suicide dive sends Pac into the rail. Allin hits a second, even nastier dive! Pac counters a rana by viciously swinging Allin into the ring steps. Cue the commercial! Match continues on picture in picture, where Pac powerbombs Allin onto the ring steps. Back from break, Pac continues to dominate. Darby is unable to stand, but hits a reverse crucifix bomb off the second rope! Coffin Drop to ringside is good! Leaping Stunner by Darby and Code Red ONLY GETS 2! Pac ties Allin up in the ring skirt and hits a high kick. HARD lariat by Pac only gets a 2 count. Darby is in a daze but finds his second wind for a series of close pinning predicaments. Springboard Coffin Drop is countered into a German Suplex! Pac's sitout powerbomb only gets 2! Black Arrow finishes at 11:48! Another gutsy performance by Darby, who seems to always come up short in these main event opportunities, ***¾.
Tony Shiavone tries to interview Pac about the Jericho Cruise. Pac only wants to be recognized as the new #1 contender. He's looking past Moxley, who was left physically incapacitated earlier tonight. Pac puts Jericho on notice. The camera cuts to backstage, where Jon Moxley is being loaded into an ambulance. Moxley fights out of the ambulance, and I feel like I've seen this exact angle before. One eyed Moxley storms the stage with a mic. Moxley doesn't care if he's half blind or dead, he's going to kick Pac's ass on the cruise.
Final Thoughts: Show started and ended strong, but the Nightmare Collective stuff was a much bigger drag than usual, thanks to an ELEVEN minute match that heavily featured Brandi and Mel being exposed as limited in-ring performers. I enjoyed most everything else, though I may have suggested that Moxley NOT fight out of an ambulance, as that feels really derivative of WWE. I guess I'll just have to take comfort knowing that TNT renewed Dynamite today through 2023, so there's a lot to be hopeful for.
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